Indonesia’s Palm Oil Exports Drop 17% as Shipments Delayed

Selasa, 31 Juli 2012 | 10:48

Palm oil exports from Indonesia, the world’s largest producer, unexpectedly declined 17 percent in June from a month earlier as exporters delayed shipments to avoid paying a higher tax rate, a trade group said.Shipments fell to 1.14 million metric tons from 1.37 million tons in May, according to data released today by Steaven Halim, an official at the Indonesia Palm Oil Association. That’s lower than the median estimate of 1.5 million tons from five companies in a Bloomberg survey published June 29. The duty on crude palm oil exports was cut by the government to 15 percent in July from 19.5 percent in June.

The tropical oil, used to make everything from candy bars to biofuels, has tumbled 20 percent from a 13-month high in April on prospects for record global production. Lower prices may potentially cut earnings at companies including Golden Agri- Resources Ltd., the world’s second-largest grower, and PT Astra Agro Lestari, the country’s largest-listed plantation company by market value.

“Companies restrained shipments and carried them over to July because they knew the duty will be cut,” Joko Supriyono, secretary general at the association, known as Gapki, said by telephone from Jakarta today. “Exports will be higher this month” as the tax has been lowered.

October-delivery palm oil rose 0.8 percent to 2,905 ringgit ($920) a ton on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange at the midday break. The most-active contract closed 2.3 percent lower yesterday, posting the biggest decline since June 14. Futures reached 3,628 ringgit on April 10.

Tax Rates

Indonesia will keep the tax rate unchanged at 15 percent in August, Deddy Saleh, director general of foreign trade at the Trade Ministry, said today. The base price to calculate the levy was raised to $950 a ton from $944.

The government reviews the tax rates and base export prices every month, based on average rates in Kuala Lumpur, Rotterdam and Jakarta.

Indonesia’s palm kernel oil shipments rose 49 percent to 111,640 tons in June from a month earlier, Gapki data show, bringing the total palm and lauric oils exports to 1.25 million tons last month, down 13 percent from May.

Exports of palm and kernel oils to India fell 30 percent to 311,850 tons last month, while shipments to China rose 18 percent to 311,030 tons, data show. European countries bought 240,560 tons in June, a 17 percent drop from a month earlier. (Bloomberg/msw)

by Newswire